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If you’re passionate about shaping young minds and making a difference in education, you’re in the right place!

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps and requirements to become a substitute teacher in the vibrant and diverse educational tapestry of Washington, DC.

You have what it takes to contribute to the success of your DC school communities, whether you’re a seasoned educator looking for a change or a passionate newcomer ready to start teaching. So, let’s dive into the details!

Want a PDF that summarizes the steps on how to sub in Washington DC?

Download the Scoot guide

Why substitute teaching is an excellent career choice

teacher helping student at desk

Whether you plan to stay in education long-term or be a part-time sub, substitute teaching gives you valuable life experience you can be proud of putting on your resume.

Make a difference in your community

Substitute teachers are incredibly valuable to their school districts and students, because they help keep things moving when teachers call out of work

Even if you only see your students for one day out of the week, you become an essential person who helps keep students’ education on track.

Learn transferable job skills

As a sub, you will pick up on valuable skills such as public speaking, thinking on your feet, and classroom management. You’ll also learn how to create a positive, inclusive learning environment for students.

No matter what profession you end up in, you’ll always leverage the interpersonal, managerial, and problem solving skills you picked up as a substitute teacher.

Create your own schedule

Arguably the best part about being a sub is that you can make your own schedule. You can always communicate with us when you want to work and which days you want to take off.

Have fun everyday

In contrast to a regular 9-to-5 office job, substitute teaching comes with exciting adventures every day. Different teaching assignments can bring you to new schools, students, and peers, giving you the opportunity to learn something new every day!

Steps to become a substitute teacher in Washington DC

Washington DC Capitol building

You may find requirements differ across different school districts and agencies in DC. Requirements and application processes differ because the District does not offer a standard substitute teacher certification and does not standardize the process to become a sub.

As a result, each school has its own hiring and onboarding requirements and protocols for substitute teachers.

For example, the DCPS (District of Columbia Public Schools) only requires subs to have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours, while other schools and agencies require subs to hold a bachelor’s degree before starting to teach.

In this guide, we’ll detail the 7 quick and easy steps to become a substitute teacher in DC with Scoot Education. With just one application, you’ll be able to teach at a variety of schools as a Scoot sub.

Step 1: Apply online

First, begin your application with Scoot online.

You’ll answer some screening questions and upload your resume (if you have one). If you don’t have one, you can fill out our auto-generated questions that build a resume for you.

Then we’ll see if you’re a good match with us. Some things we check for are:

  • What kind of teaching experience do you have?
  • Do you hold any teaching credentials?
  • Do you have 60 college credit hours?
  • Do you have a clean, professional, and grammatically correct resume?
  • If you don’t have classroom experience, have you worked with children before (i.e. tutoring, summer camp, sports)?

Step 2: Go through a phone screen

If your application passed the review stage, you’ll then hop on a phone screen with one of our consultants. What is the phone screen?

The phone screen is just a quick 15-minute call to get to know you. We’ll ask about:

  • What you’re looking for
  • Where you’re located
  • Permits or credentials you might have

Your answers inform us if we have the kind of work that fits your needs.

Step 3: Interview

After you’ve passed your phone screen, we’ll set up a virtual interview with you. This interview will be 30-45 minutes long over video call.

We’ll ask you about your ideal commute time, preferences for grade levels, and more to make sure that you only get assignments that suit your needs!

Before the interview

To streamline the interview process, please upload proof of any teaching credentials you may have. Credentials are not needed, but can boost your hiring chances and earn you a higher pay down the road.

Some examples of acceptable teaching credentials are:

  • Copy of your teaching certificate issued by the District of Columbia
  • Proof of completion of a substitute teacher course or workshop

Step 4: Upload official documents

After your stellar interview, your consultant will let you know of next steps. You’ll upload some important documents:

  1. Identification documents
  2. Payroll information – so you can start getting paid immediately after starting with us!

Step 5: Pass background checks

The District of Columbia requires 3 separate background checks, two of which are criminal and one civil, before you can start subbing:

  • Civil: The Child Protection Register (CPR) which is a non-criminal check to see if an individual has record of substantiated abuse or neglect of a child
  • Criminal: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) which includes criminal and sex offender records from all 50 states
  • Criminal: The local police department

All local and national records are kept highly confidential. Here’s how you can obtain clearance for each check.

Child Protection Registry

Anyone who wants to work with kids is required to complete and clear the DC Child Protection Registry clearance. You can complete the DC CPR Check Request form online via your applicant portal. The results can take up to 21 business days to come back.

This background check comes at no cost to the educator.

FBI Background Check

To pass your federal background check, you’ll get fingerprinted. Scoot reimburses educators for the FBI fingerprinting fee in their first paycheck!

Here are the steps to get fingerprinted:

  1. Register for an account or login with an existing account on Applicant Services.
  2. Fill out the questionnaire.
  3. Select a location and time for your fingerprinting appointment.
  4. Pay for the $47 fingerprinting fee. Scoot will reimburse you in your first paycheck after your first shift.
  5. Take the form to the appointment.
  6. Download a copy of your receipt to upload to us.

Once you’ve gotten fingerprinted, all that’s left is to upload a copy of your results to your applicant portal. You’ll find the results on Applicant Services. Usually, results are returned on the same day, but sometimes they can take up to 48 hours.

Local Background Check

The local criminal background check will be conducted via Checkr. Checkr provides fast and fair background checks, so you can start teaching quickly.

Step 6: Submit 3 references and pass work history review

Top off your application with these last two pieces: the 20 Year Work History Verification and 3 professional references.

What is the 20 Year Work History Verification?

The School Safety Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 requires schools to take steps to ensure a positive social and emotional learning environment and to prevent sexual misconduct in schools.

As a result, all substitute teachers in DC must complete a work history review covering the last 20 years of employment history where the scope of their employment involved direct interaction with children.

What do I do to pass the work history review?

In addition to your 3 references for Scoot Education, you’ll input any reference for a job you’ve previously held that involved direct interaction with children.

If there is any overlap between the references you will need to inform them to complete both the Scoot Education Reference as well as the DC 20 Year Work History check.

We’ll contact these references via email, text and/or phone to review your previous work experience.

Step 7: Sign offer letter!

Once you’ve completed all the steps and gotten approved, you’ll receive your offer letter in your email inbox. Then, we’ll help you get set up as a Scoot employee in our online systems.

Commonly asked questions

1. Do I need a bachelor’s degree to become a substitute teacher in DC?

You do not need to have a bachelor’s or associate’s degree if you want to become a substitute teacher in DC. Scoot only requires you to have completed 60 college credit hours.

This is consistent with DCPS (District of Columbia Public Schools) educational requirements. Some other school districts and agencies will require you to have a bachelor’s degree. Luckily, Scoot makes it easy to become a sub!

2. Do I need a substitute teacher certification or license in DC?

You do not need a substitute teacher certification or license to become a substitute teacher in DC. In 2016, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) stopped issuing substitute teacher licenses.

However, if you do have a DC teacher credential or any teaching certification, you can upload a copy of your credential to your applicant portal when applying to Scoot.

3. How much does a substitute teacher make?

A substitute teacher’s pay in DC depends on assignment length, type of role, school, and certificate level.

DCPS substitute teacher pay has the following range:

  • Daily Substitute Teachers: $160/full day; $80/half day
  • Long Term Substitute Teachers: $200/full day

4. How do I find work as a substitute teacher?

With Scoot, finding work is quick and easy through our app, Scoot 2 Work. Scoot 2 Work allows you to set your daily, weekly, monthly availability and lets Scoot know if you’re up and ready each morning to receive a substitute assignment!

If you sub with DCPS, you’ll register with their automated system, SmartFind Express. Subs are considered as temporary employees to the DCPS. You will be assigned to jobs on an as-needed basis due to teacher absences or position vacancies. You may also be asked to accept assignments outside of your background or educational training.

5. Why should I sub with Scoot Education instead of directly with the school district?

Scoot Education is a staffing company that strives to place the right teacher in the right classroom, which means better outcomes for students, teachers, schools, and families.

Read on to find out why educators love working with Scoot.

Substitute teach with Scoot Education

Scoot Education consultants smiling

How teaching with an agency can make your life easier

Subbing with an agency means feeling supported in your work as a substitute teacher and getting benefits that subs without agencies don’t have.

Here are some of the benefits of subbing with Scoot Education:

  • Save time and energy – Applying with Scoot is less complicated than becoming a temporary employee for the district or other agencies.
  • Get 1-on-1 support with a dedicated Scoot consultant, an expert in the education field who can answer all your teaching-related questions. Whether you need help becoming a sub or need advice when teaching, your Scoot consultant has your back!
  • Receive exclusive access to Scoot Camp, our voluntary teacher preparation program that helps educators feel prepared for success in the classroom. This free online professional development course covers three important subjects:
    • Behavior management
    • Special education
    • Trauma-informed teaching
  • Be in full control of your schedule with our app Scoot 2 Work. We have no availability minimum so you can work as much or as little as you want.
  • Enjoy weekly pay every Friday via direct deposit straight into your bank account!

Ready to sub with Scoot Education?

Becoming a substitute teacher in Washington DC is simple. Especially with an educational staffing company like Scoot Education. We want to support you throughout your application process and beyond.

Subbing with Scoot means access to more opportunities, more school districts, and more excitement!

Apply now